Over 250 youth from across South Africa gathered at The Innovation Hub in Pretoria to participate in the inaugural Green Youth Indaba on the 31 July 2014.
The theme this year was ‘Advancing Youth Interest in Green Economy and Sustainable Development’ and was hosted by TOSACA Media Group alongside other green partners such as the Water Research Commission (WRC), South African Weather Service (SAWS) and the Department of Energy and Department of Environmental Affairs.
Speakers included from the private, public and NGO sector included:
- Green Economy Specialist at The Innovation Hub, Dr. Charity Mbileni
- Founder of Generation Earth and UNEP Youth Ambassador , Ella Bella
- DBSA Green Fund Manager, Michelle Lytte
- Head of Green Economy at the Gauteng Economic Development, Noxolo Mthembu
Speaking at the opening of the Indaba, CEO of TOSACA Media Group and Activator Calvin Makhubela said, “This initiative seeks to create a platform for young people to be exposed to the green economic opportunities in South Africa and engage with both government and private sector to enable an environment for youth to participate in the economy.”
The Indaba focused on four topics; renewable energy, climate change, waste management and water conservation and as part of the event, delegates participated in breakaway sessions to discuss and debate issues around climate change, how it affects youth and what youth can do in their homes and communities.
Green youth entrepreneurs were then given an opportunity to pitch their practical innovative green ideas to a panel of investors such as Wits Business School, The Innovation Hub, Nissan SA, and Industrial Development Corporation.
The ideas were practical solutions that can be implemented in our homes, communities and provinces.
For example, Tumelo Mashile and Mandla Mdluli of EnGenius Green Solutions pitched an idea of a mobile treatment plant that would purify water in rural municipalities using technology powered by solar panels.
The aim of the Green Youth Indaba is to sensitize and empower young minds about the opportunities within the green economy, explore economic opportunities for young people within the environmental sector, engage youth to play a pro-active role in addressing issues related to sustainable development as well as address the stigmas about taking up careers in the environment or green field.
For more information about the Green Youth Indaba, visit www.greenyouthindaba.co.za.